Biggert-Waters NFIP Disaster Update: Our politicians thus far unable to reverse the damage from their earlier votes….

So far the two state senatorial delegation of Mary Landrieu, David Vitter, Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker are striking out on delaying the massive NFIP rate increases coming down the pike. Per this Bruce Alpert piece, Senator Landrieu is now seeking a one year delay in the massive rate hikes coming for those that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. A few days later, Alpert covered a letter the area’s congressional delegation sent to FEMA asking for administrative relief.

The troubled Flood Insurance program is billions of dollars in debt and the Biggert-Waters Act, designed as it was by the Insurance Industry for the sole benefit of the insurance industry guarantees that the billions of dollars in wind claims private insurers such as State Farm dumped on the NFIP after Hurricane Katrina will be repaid by the NFIP ratepayers instead of the large companies that socialized their contractual obligations under their insurance policies that dumped them on the US Treasury. Unfortunately the people of this area were sold out to the insurance industry by our own politicians, who now claim ignorance of the impacts of the bill upon which they voted Aye.

In related news Alpert checked in yesterday with a report on the FEMA pilot program on adjusting flood maps to give credit for locally built, non-accredited levees.  This seems a risky proposition to me due to the fact ongoing maintenance of these systems has been historically neglected plus filling in marshlands for development is bad for the environment. What this area needs is smarter development that does not impact or alter the floodplain, not more levees.

12 thoughts on “Biggert-Waters NFIP Disaster Update: Our politicians thus far unable to reverse the damage from their earlier votes….”

  1. Alpert is too tied in with religious fervour for government to recognize the FEMA accreditation of local levees is nothing more than a pass-the-buck routine. The reason local levees DON’T get accreditation is simple: even with dedicated funds in the millions our local gangs of kleptocrats routinely divert the money elsewhere. The so-called maintenance consists solely of grass-cutting.
    Think this over, kameraden, if local governments routinely violate their obligations under Acts of Assurance with the almighty federales, AND DO NOT GET CALLED DOWN BY THE FEDERALES, do you believe for a second they give a rats-ass about fulfilling their state law obligations? Does anyone seriouslysuggest any local district attorney let alone the do-nothing AG in Baton Rouge, will compel local governments to do anything under the threat of malfessance/nonfeasance charges?

    1. There are others like Hillie’s Date and Brian that would know more but my understanding is once new flood maps are in place, the 3,260 repetitive loss properties in St Tammany will be demolition candidates if they flood again.

      It is a matter of time before it happens too, just like a multitude of properties here in Hancock County.

      Nowhere takes repetitive loss to another level like Dauphin Island Alabama, which is a glorified taxpayer funded vacation getaway for many inland residents in the 3 state region and that does not count the taxpayer funded dredging projects that restores private property rights for land lost to the Gulf. Such is a complete wasting of tax money IMHO.

  2. While Dauphin Island is considered the number one most fragile inhabited area followed by the Barrier Islands off of North Carolina new homes are still being constructed in both areas. At some point all areas of the coast line will be totally devalued if a home finished floor elevation is below the established finish floor elevation required by FEMA. Of course this bar keeps rising. Is this the way it should be? Probably or we all have to pay for it with taxes. I have read of examples where flood insurance is rising from $500. to $23,000. on a particular home. The problem it creates is the home is no longer sellable. This my friend is what CIAP funds should be used for when available. Purchasing homes in a flood plain that would allow an owner a way to move instead of buying your buddies business that was built to current standards is what should have been done Bill Walker.

    1. CIAP could have bought out large chunks of Shoreline Park in Bay St Louis for what the program paid Jackson developer Gary Cress for the old Winn Dixie property in the Pass and you are right, CIAP absolutely could have been coordinated as part of an overall Hazard mitigation plan.

      Instead the insiders and politicos took the opportunity to line their own pockets.

      1. Just based on how desperate CIAP funds are needed for these types of problem solving the Walker gang should be shamed in public. How many people could have been helped in areas like Shoreline Park? I guess we will never know but if you take the Cress property and Harbor Landing that totals over $8 million. If you assume $100,000. for each homestead this equals 80 families that could relocate out of harms way. Very sad that this misappropriation was allowed to happen.

        1. $100,000 per family? Heck no. Shoreline Park it is still predominantly vacant after Katrina and there are lots to be had there all day long for $5,000 or so. Try 600 parcels at that price for the Cress property alone.

          1. I was thinking about lots with homes that people have moved back in to but have had repeated flooding. Vacant residential lots are another area to use CIAP funds to make sure they would never be built on again. But the scammers got no telling what kind of referral fee for making these friend and family deals work. Backroom deals, bogus appraisals, and a laugh all the way to the bank is what happened. Some day soon I want to see those smiles wiped of the faces of Walker, Harris and all the other participants by a Federal Judge at sentencing.

            1. After I left that comment I consulted a local real estate expert that would gladly unload lots cheaper than $5K – there is no market for them anymore and outside of deep water waterfront lots which go for around $14K as there is still boating related demand there is no market for 4 foot elevations. Buying the land, even on the cheap, would be doing those property owners a favor. The expert figured $10MM would more than buy the whole area save for the waterfront lots.

  3. We had billions of dollars in the CIAP, Katrina Community Development Block Grants, FEMA Hazard Mitigation grants, and Corps of Engineers coastal improvement funds that coulda, woulda, shoulda been used to buy out and/or elevate homes in the lowest, most flood-prone areas, but the 100% federal funds with weak federal oversight were just too tempting for the state and local officials to smuggle into subsidizing other things. We know about CIAP. Some CDBG money went to the homeowner grants including some elevation money (that need was what got the money awarded), but big chunks of the CDBG money went to the port, to water and sewer infrastructure for inland developments that still haven’t happened, and other subsidies for developers rather than for individual homeowners owners. The FEMA money built a bunch of new public buildings all over Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson Counties by calling every new building a shelter, so federal taxpayers paid to build a bunch of community centers, recreation centers, etc. with money that was supposed to mitigate against future disaster losses. The Corps scared everybody by proposing to buy out about half of Bay St. Louis instead of smaller targeted projects, and then went and threw $500+ million into trying to restore Ship Island to its pre-Camille footprint – not pre-Katrina, pre-Camille – when it was still one island. As great as that ambition sounds to island lovers, it is nowhere near the top 10 best uses for $500 million in any legitimate cost-benefit analysis. They will pump sand until they run out of money and it might reduce the next storm surge by a foot on a small stretch of beach in Biloxi or Gulfport, and then when the next major storm runs over it a big chunk of Ship Island will disappear again.

    My idea after Gustav flooding in 2008, was that any property in South Mississippi that floods from a category 2 hurricane that passes by without coming within 65 miles should be in a fast track program for either buy-out or elevation. Not mandatory, but if you refuse, then you can pay full actuarial rates for your flood insurance.

    The problem with buy-outs now is that the regular FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is 75 percent federal and 25 percent non-federal. The Severe Repetitive Loss Program is 90/10 but requires the local government to implement a serious plan to buy out repetitive loss properties – not just buy a few random properties. My experience after Georges and other storms when we didn’t have the special Katrina 100% federal money is that even when everyone wants a buy-out, the local counties and cities usually are not willing to put their own money into it, so it doesn’t happen.

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